A conservative Republican congressman from South Carolina’s Upstate has thrown his support behind Iowa Caucus winner US Sen. Ted Cruz.
US Rep. Jeff Duncan endorsed Cruz Tuesday, according to a release from Cruz’s campaign that confirmed earlier reports by the Greenville News and others. Duncan was originally slated to appear with Cruz Tuesday night during a rally at the Peace Center in Greenville, but had to travel back to Washington.
“We have the best Republican Presidential field that we’ve had in a generation. We have a number of candidates who would make an excellent Commander-in-Chief,” Duncan was quoted as saying in the email. “But I’m reminded of a lesson my grandfather always taught me, that it’s best to judge a man not by his words but rather by his actions. I haven’t been in Washington long, but I have learned that it is a place filled with people who say one thing to get elected and do the opposite once they get there. That is why when deciding who to support, I’m looking for a candidate who has a record that matches their rhetoric and a history of following through on their word.”
Duncan represents South Carolina’s 3rd Congressional District, which covers most of the state’s northwestern and Lakelands region, including Anderson, Greenwood, Laurens, and the communities immediately west of Greenville. He has served in the US House since 2011, creating a reputation as having one of the chamber’s most conservative voting records during that time, according to the American Conservative Union.
He is the fifth member of South Carolina’s delegation in Washington to back a GOP candidate, although the first to publicly support Cruz. US Sen. Lindsey Graham is supporting Jeb Bush after dropping out of the race himself, US Sen. Tim Scott and US Rep. Trey Gowdy are backing Rubio, and US Rep. Mick Mulvaney endorsed Kentucky US Sen. Rand Paul last year.
Cruz won the Iowa GOP caucus with 27.6% of the vote Monday, beating out Donald Trump and Marco Rubio by more than 3 percentage points.
Kimberly Washington contributed to this report